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Police Employee Disciplinary Matrix: An Emerging Concept

NCJ Number
Police Quarterly Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 62-91
Jon M. Shane
Date Published
March 2012
30 pages
This article examines how police employees are treated by their organization during disciplinary proceedings.
This article explores the concept of a rational sentencing structure for imposing internal police discipline that helps practitioners make more reasoned and consistent decisions when dispensing discipline. The data consists of 360 hr of participant observation of police trials involving sworn police officers and civilian employees in the Newark, New Jersey Police Department. Various agency records provide an understanding of the formal influences surrounding police discipline. The findings suggest a disciplinary sentencing matrix is more rational than the traditional discretionary method, which is largely informal and relies on best estimates. The matrix may increase consistency in disciplinary sentences, which is an important aspect of organizational justice that leaves police employees with a sense of fairness in management's disciplinary decisions. (Published Abstract)